Tonight I was watching the news and a story reminded me of an image I created for a Coexistence Art competition in 2005. The image is quite complex and I never published online until now as the technology at the time wasn’t up to it as the image has a lot of detail. Click on the image to read the text and it helps if you have a large/high res screen. It has literally (and yes I mean literally) taken me hours to find the original files and along the way I even found the competition entry form complete with this as the description;
The idea behind this entry is to hint at the diversity of co-existence in New Zealand. A range of friends and co-workers were asked to supply a short description of their ancestry focusing on the point of departure from wherever it may be and arrival in New Zealand to capture a glimpse of who we are and who we co-exist with. Perhaps also a correlation could be made between immigrants of yesteryear and today. Tolerance of difference is best approached by finding the similarities. To dig a little in the attic and find out that your great great grandfather immigrated to New Zealand for much the same reason someone from Asia may today is a thought that leads to understanding. The photographic image of a typical New Zealand landscape has been clipped inside the shape of the text and outlined by the New Zealand flag. Here words become the artists brushstroke. A deeper, hidden meaning is revealed on close inspection but when we stand back we see the bigger picture— a true metaphor for co-existence.
The work was chosen as a finalist (+$1000!) and shown at The Museum on the Seam for the Coexistence Award. The original print was sold at auction, and I haven’t seen it (or even the digital version) in over 12 years.